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422.

WHIT- instances to the contrary. This was, no doubt, argumentum ad
Abp. Cant. hominem, and striking the right string with a witness. The

instances are these. One Cumperel, a Geneva minister, fixed
in a parish within the territory of that republic, had a private
design of placing himself in the state of Bern. This was reck-
oned a great fault. When the consistory was informed of his
intentions, they put the oath ex officio to him; and because he
refused to answer directly to some very close interrogatories,-
and there lay strong presumptions against him,—they came to

a resolution that they had just grounds to depose him from his Calvin,

function.
Epist. edit.
folio, p. 421. The next Geneva precedent stands thus: One Balthazar, a

rich widow in Geneva, had a ball at her house. This diversion
is a great crime by Calvin's discipline. It happened that a
syndic, one of the four chief magistrates, and one Henrick, an
elder, were two of those that danced. When Calvin under-
stood what was done, he convented them before a consistory ;
and though they were delated by nobody, the oath ex officio was
put to them to extort matter of fact. The elder pleaded St.
Paul's rule to Timothy, “Receive not an accusation against
an elder under two or three witnesses." This plea was
rejected, and Calvin called it no better than a pleasant jest.
In short, Henrick the elder, though he made no part in the
diversion, was animadverted on for defending it. He was turned
out of his office, and imprisoned for three days. And more
than that: one of the four syndics, or chief magistrates of the
town, was likewise suspended from the execution of his office,
till he had given some proofs of his repentance for being at the

ball. This man resigned to the consistory, did penance upon
Calvin, their admonition, and so prevented his commitment. There
Epist. 71,
ad Farell. were several others, who, being examined by Calvin upon their

oath, confessed they were at this dancing entertainment, upon Calvin, which they were all sent to prison'. Epist. 71.

The English Dissenters who refused this oath may be ranged under four divisions.

First. Such who would return no other answer but this : 2 Cor. iv. 5. “ If our faults be hidden, tarry till the Lord comes and makes 603. the counsels of our hearts manifest ;” but if they are manifest,

let the prosecutor and the witnesses appear.

1 Tim. v.

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· Calvin seems to have believed in earnest what Cicero merely stated in joke " that no man would dance, unless he were mad or drunk.” Perhaps the burning of Servetus was nearly as wicked as the dancing of a presbyter.

BETH.

21.

The second sort took the oath with a protestation, that they ELIZAintended not to be bound to accuse either themselves or their brethren.

A third sort had somewhat of a larger principle towards compliance. They thought themselves obliged to discover both their own and their brethren's faults; “to remove evil from the land," as they call it ; but for such actions which were strained and misconstrued, and no faults at all in the judgment of the party examined, these they believed themselves not bound to disclose.

The last sort took the oath with a protestation somewhat different from the second. They declared they did not reckon themselves bound to answer any interrogatories to fortify any other's testimony; but where the crime had no evidence to prove it, they conceived they might fairly be sworn to discover their knowledge. For instance: they thought a preacher ought not to be examined upon oath concerning any part of his sermon. For this they cited our Saviour's answer to the high priest, “Why askest thou me? Ask them that heard John xviil. me; they know what I said.”

Fuller's The Dissenters' Book of Discipline was lately revised, and Church approved by the party. And now they began to form them- book 9. selves into classes. Three of these classes were set up Northamptonshire; one at Northampton, another at Daventry, and another at Kettering. The same form of government was likewise erected in most other counties. To say something of Bancroft's the business of these classes, and the manner of their proceed- Positions, ing. At their meeting, which was always in some private house, book 3. they chose a moderator in the first place. Their method is of the classes, this; one of them makes a prayer for God's direction in the business done choice. This minister takes a seat by himself to receive the there.

Cartwright's scrutiny: upon this all the company give their votes privately Directory, to him, and here the choice turns upon a majority. He that London, is chosen moderator makes a prayer for God's blessing in the 4. D. 1644. management of his office. After this he calls over the names of the brethren. The authority of the moderator continues until the next meeting. At the recess of every classis they always appoint a time for meeting again : this interval is sometimes no more than a fortnight, but seldom above three weeks. If any extraordinary emergency happens in the mean time, the moderator may shorten the adjournment. When

in

The method

WHIT- any person is admitted into a classis, he engages to absolute Abp. Cant. submission, and subscribes himself ready to obey all the orders

and decrees of that society. For instance, it was concluded at the classis of Northampton, that when any controversy happens touching any point of doctrine, or interpretation of Scripture, all the brethren of that classis were bound to stand by the determination of the majority: they likewise answered cases of conscience put to them, and resolved difficulties touching contracts of marriage. The decrees and resolutions of the classis were entered in a book, which was always in the custody of their registrary.

Besides these classes, there was another meeting called the assembly: it was generally formed out of two from every classis. At this committee they chose a moderator, who presided over the respective classes until the next assembly, which was commonly within six or eight weeks. Business of more than ordinary importance was managed here, and such in which the Church was generally concerned. For instance; writing of letters to the brethren at Oxford, Cambridge, and London, to acquaint them with their proceedings, and receive their directions for discipline and government. At such times it was likewise resolved which of the committee should

pen

the letter; and in the Northamptonshire division Mr. Snape was commonly the person. For this purpose, they wrote to Travers in London, Gellybrand in Oxford, and to a third in Cambridge. There were two material points settled in the Northamptonshire assembly this year: one was to take a survey of all the Churches in that county; the other was for an order to be observed at the ensuing parliament. The business of the survey was to know the value of every benefice in the county, the number of the parishioners, who were the incumbents, how they lived, and were qualified. And here those who were commissionated for this inquiry commonly made a very disadvantageous report of the conformists. The design of this Northamptonshire survey was to make a precedent for other counties; that by being thus furnished with information, they might give in a general list to the parliament of all the clergy in England that opposed their project. The other business transacted in the assembly above-mentioned, was a resolution to send one or two of every classis with credentials to London, to attend the parliament. And here they

BETH.

were to join the brethren of other districts; to offer a confer- ELIZAence for disputation, if it was thought proper; and to manage any other business at discretion. This Northamptonshire survey was approved by the party in other places, and practised in most counties in England.

To add something concerning the methods of censure in the classes. For instance; if a layman fell into a fault, one of the elders was to admonish him: if the party proved obstinate, the elder must take two or three with him the second time. If he continued unreclaimed after this last reprimand, they barred him the communion. If the perverseness of the party was such as to intrude upon the communion, it was then resolved he should be refused upon pretence of an order in the rubric. And thus they found out a method to maintain their own discipline, and covered themselves at the same time with the authority of the common prayer. The classes and committees in the country were under the direction The country, of the general assembly at London. At this grand meeting the direction Cartwright, Edgerton, or Travers, were commonly moderators. sembly at Whatever was done here was reckoned authentic; this was

London, the last resort, and the overruling authority. Hither the brethren in the country sent their queries, and applied for advice."

This account of the Puritans' proceedings is taken from Id. bock 3. depositions in the courts of the High Commission and Starchamber: and here the deponents were generally persons present at the assemblies.

About this time, sir Thomas Bromely, lord chancellor, departed this life. And now the queen offered the seal to archbishop Whitgift: but this prelate excusing himself upon the score of his age, and the business of his function, recommended his friend, sir Christopher Hatton. The motion being approved, this gentleman had the seal, and other marks of Paul's Life that office, delivered to him at Whitgift's house at Croydon.

bishop To proceed; John Low, John Adams, and Richard Tipdale, Whitgift. were tried and found guilty of high treason, for being made priests by the authority of the bishop of Rome: for this they 604. were hanged, drawn, and quartered, at Tyburn. But this Stow's should have been placed to October the last year.

To take a survey of the affairs of the Church in Scotland : June 20, this summer a general assembly was convened by the king's

of Arch

Annal.

p. 741.

VOL, VII.

F

Ch. Hist.

WHIT- proclamation: the design was to settle the points of difference Abp. Cant. between his majesty and the Church. But the ministers

proving too stiff and pretending, the meeting failed of success : for the chancellor and justice-clerk coming to the assembly, and requiring satisfaction in the king's name for the misbehaviour of James Gibson and John Cooper, ministers, and

that Montgomery, bishop of Glasgow, might be received The assembly without any form of submission, their answer was, " That if burgh refuse the Church's petitions were granted in the next parliament, king satis. they would endeavour to bring things to such a temper as faction. might be best consistent with the honour of the ministry,

might satisfy the offence of the godly, and the conscience of their brethren, against whom his majesty had taken offence. And as for Mr. Robert Montgomery, they would dispense with some ceremonies used in admittingexcommunicates, provided the king was willing to remit somewhat of the satisfaction craved of the other two brethren.” This peremptory answer disgusted

the king so far, that he refused treating with them any farther Spotswood's at that time.

The assembly continued sitting until the parliament met. The assem- At the opening the session they sent Mr. David Lindsay, Mr. the partia Robert Pont, and some other commissioners, to the parliament ment against house: and here in the name of the Church they desired that the prelates.

the prelates then present might not be suffered to sit ; their reasons were, because they had no authority from the Church, and most of them executed no function in it. Against this motion, Mr. Edward Bruce, abbot of Kinloss, rose up, and addressing the king, made a long discourse to prove the right they had to sit in parliament, and vote for the Church. He complained the ministers had in a most illegal and disorderly manner thrown them out of their business in the Church, and now they were trying to carry on their encroachment, and deprive them of their privilege in the State. This usage the prelates hoped his majesty would not suffer, but rather punish the presumption of the petitioners. Mr. Robert Pont being somewhat too warm in his reply, the king stopped the contest, and ordered them to present their petitions to the lords of the articles. But here the assembly committee found no satisfac

tion as to this particular. July 29,

Some time before the courtiers had concerted a project for 1587.

conveying the remainder of the Church-lands to the crown.

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